KBrakes are an anchoring system for a kick drum (on a drum set) that keeps the drum in place while it’s being played. The kick drum is the biggest drum and sits on the floor and is played by pressing down on a foot pedal that is attached to the back drum hoop. By pressing down on the pedal it pushes the beater forward causing the beater to strike the head of the drum, making a very low but loud bass tone.
The problem: Kick drums slide forward and away from the drummer as they are being played. Even though 99% of drums are played on carpet this still happens. There are 2 anchored spikes on the spurs (legs) that come on every kick drum that are meant to anchor and stabilize the drum. Even on the best carpet sometimes the kick drum will still creep, walk or slide forward.
The Solution: Design a kick drum anchoring system that works.
A few years ago I was on US tour with a band from Virginia that had asked me drum on some dates with them. Most of this tour was a package tour which means that there were 4 bands and we all played the same shows together every night. All of us drummers would usually load in the club and set up our drum kits together and talk shop. Part of my kit setup consisted of a “gig rug” which is basically a rug for under your drums with a carpeted 2X4 at the end to keep the kick drum from sliding away.
I wouldn’t say these rugs are super common but a lot of people do use them. My band was playing first on this leg of the tour. After a few days on the tour other drummer’s were asking me to use my rug. Of course I said yes because I didn’t mind but there was a major drawback to this decision. Usually after we played I would pack all my stuff up into my cases and get them ready for load out at the end of the night. I now was the last one to be packed up because my rug which went into the bottom of my road case was still on stage at 12:00 am while the drummer who played last was talking to people and hanging out at the bar and his drums were still on stage on top of my rug.
I remember sitting in the car with my fiancé in Lansing, MI after we had finished playing. We wanted to leave right after we were done playing to go back home. I told her that we had to wait until the end of the show because the other drummers were using my rug and if I don’t pack it up myself I won’t know tomorrow if it will be there. That rug was an essential part of my rig, I just couldn’t chance it getting left behind. As we sat there I started thinking about all of the other drum anchoring systems and how poorly they worked. If I came up with something I would never have to wait for my drum rug again. After mentally scrolling through all the things that drummers currently used to solve this problem (cinder blocks, Velcro, tape, rope, etc) Then I came up with the idea that later became KBrakes. This would be a drum anchor that goes on the end of the spurs of your kick drum that has feet that wouldn’t create drag but almost create resistance and push the drum back toward the player. I thought this would be great because one of the guys on the tour was playing with no rubber feet at all and just spikes and his drum was still sliding all over the place.
I started designing this idea in my head, over and over and over again. I started secretly plugging away doing research and polling other drummers on the tour with questions about anchors and drums sliding. Eventually tour was over and I came home and started working on this new project. After about a month I had prototype, after about 6 months I had 4 prototypes. This project was very much about iteration, design, fail and redesign to arrive where I am currently which is a version 12. There isn’t much flash to KBrakes, it’s all about function.
Not too long after this I made a video to show the music community my solution to this problem. I decided to push it and further so I uploaded the video to Start Garden to see what others thought. About 6 days later KBrakes was awarded the public vote and was funded with $5,000 to continue my experiment.
I’m really excited to share KBrakes with the world and show the drummers of the world that there is at least one good option for keeping their kick drum in front of them. We have gotten pre-orders and inquiries from a number of companies in the US, Austria, UK and Japan.